I know that might not sound logical, but think about it. You put so much extra energy into getting that knife to make a cut that you end up losing control over it and your intended target. Never force a knife to make a cut or you may end up needing a bandage or a few stitches. I know from experience (ouch).
I’ve been meaning to sharpen my knives professionally for months. I have a steel and a whetstone that I use to sharpen them myself, but at some point you need the services of a professional.
You know you are at that point, pardon the pun, when you fail the tomato test. Tomatoes are slippery little juicy pillows that like to roll around. A sharp knife will slide right through while a dull one will just dent the pillow. When you do finally penetrate the skin, you squirt juice everywhere. You’ll end up with a dented, hollow shell and a very wet cutting board.
I was failing the tomato test, but was too lazy, or stubborn, to take my knives in. But a very good friend gave me a most thoughtful birthday present. He picked up my knives and took them in to Denver Cutlery. I went along for the ride, and while waiting a few short minutes to have my knives honed, I drooled over the knives they had on display. (That was sneaky of them.) I walked out with five brand new knives, including a sexy sushi knife, as well as a stash of razor sharp old ones.
If you’d like to learn how to properly sharpen your knives at home, watch this video. It’s the best I’ve seen.
CHEF’S TIP: Protect your knives’ edges by storing them in a wooden block or with knife sleeves. I don’t like glass cutting boards as their hard surface contribute to the dulling of your knife.